Ships and Sailors

For Middle Level & Elementary


Community Level 2 - Familiar


Materials: Large open space (big enough to allow safe movement for all students in class or group)

How To Play: Divide the playing space in half with a line down the center (for example the boundaries for a game could be half of a basketball court). Players move around within the designated boundaries after the Captain (caller) calls out a series of demands. The commands require the players to regroup in different ways.

Captain's Commands
Ships-stand on the left side of the ship
Sailors-stand on the right side of the ship
Captain's coming-stand at salute (with your hand near your head standing straight)
At ease-hands at your side
Sharks-all players move to the front of the ship
No sharks-all players move to the back of the ship
Hand overboard-one player kneels and the other puts his/her hand on their partner's shoulder and pretends to look overboard
Three hands rowing-players get into a group of 3 and mime rowing furiously
Four hands eating-players get into a group of 4 and mime eating ravenously
Five hands playing cards-players get into a group of 5 and mime playing a poker game

If there are players who move incorrectly or haven't matched up with others once a command has been given, they move out of the ship and become "watch people" who help the Captain find players who do not move with the group.

Once the command, "Captain's coming!" has been given, players may not move to any other position until, "At ease," has been said. The Captain can try to trick players by giving another command directly after saying "Captain's coming!" If players move around (before the "At ease" command is given) they become watch people, and stand outside of the boundaries helping the Captain find astray players.

Plan for Success: Practice the configuration for each command so that the game can be played quickly.

Related Activity Type: 
Games